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Blackout hits Seattle-Toronto TV numbers hard
by Paul Kennedy, March 21st, 2014 6:46PM

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TAGS:  canada, mls, soccer business, television

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[SOCCER ON THE AIR] How important is it to have a nationally televised game air in the markets of both teams? The much-anticipated Seattle-Toronto FC match (blacked out in Seattle) averaged only 171,000 viewers on NBCSN, almost half the audience for the MLS game, the Seattle-Sporting KC season opener, the week before.

Because the game was a late addition to the MLS national television schedule -- after Michael Bradley signed with Toronto -- the NBCSN broadcast was blacked out in the state of Washington and aired on Q13 FOX.

The game is the only match involving Toronto scheduled to air on NBCSN this season. The only other two NBCSN matches involving Canadian teams are fall Cascadia Cup matches in which Vancouver is on the road against Portland and Seattle. No Montreal matches will appear on NBCSN slate of games.

The Seattle-Sporting KC game averaged 330,000 viewers, the most for an MLS game on NBCSN outside the 2012 London Olympics window when MLS games on NBCSN received huge boosts because of Olympic lead-ins.


2 comments
  1. Zoe Willet
    commented on: March 22, 2014 at 11:19 p.m.
    Blackouts are ridiculous! If I want to go to a game, I will, whether or not it is on tv. I don't think blackouts affect stadium attendance. Also, we need to be doing everything possible to encourage soccer-watching on tv. All the 'soccer' channels, BEIN, FOX 1, 2 and FOX Soccer Plus, and NBCSN, have hours and hours of time available that could be used to broadcast all kinds of games, MLS, Women's, NASL, even college. Then they advertised this internet channel, MLS Live, and it turns out to cost a bunch of money! Please- I'm already paying for internet coverage! And finally, to end my rant, I found this channel for Roots tv NW, where I could watch my adored Portland Timbers free, only to discover this afternoon that the game was blocked out her (Chicago)- why on earth?

  1. Ric Fonseca
    commented on: March 23, 2014 at 3:17 p.m.
    Yup. this sucks, but sadly, as they say, "money talks, and people 'walks.'"


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